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Absolutely adored this book. Erudite, dripping with history, wonderful and funny writing - could not put it down. The whole idea of the book is fascinating - make you look at people and on the street and wonder "Are they........?" Will not spoil it, but her theory could explain why psychiatry does not really work all the time!! The narrator Jennifer Ikeda was excellent....was able to do a variety of accents - a very creditable Australian accent, which so few seem able to manage, French (ancient and modern) and a Glaswegian accent!!!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I read the book before I bought the audiobook and though I enjoyed the book greatly I love the audiobook even more. I loved the different accents Jennifer Ikeda did for the characters and I hope that when Deborah Harkness finishes and release the next book that Jennifer Ikeda will do the next one as well.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
What strikes me most about this novel is its intelligence. The author pays her readers the compliment of assuming they are intelligent and will keep up. It's packed with references to history, mythology, genetics and the human genome project, philosophy, Yoga and Eastern spiritualism, traditional values vs feminism, natural history...the discussion of how alchemical principles might have inspired Darwin's theory of evolution is simply brilliant. And on top of that, it has an engaging plot, rounded characters, an original take on the genre and a satisfying ending that nonetheless leaves me eager for the sequel.
The central romance between Diana Bishop, a witch, and Matthew Clairmont, a vampire, develops slowly. These characters aren't teenagers and their relationship is complex and convincing: no love-at-first-sight or adolescent babblings about unconditional love. They aren't soulmates; in fact they have some serious personality conflicts that aren't fully resolved by the end. Diana's independence doesn't sit well with Matthew's old-fashioned values and protective nature. But they work these things out.
Their relationship plays out against a backdrop of a supernatural world that lives within our own. The 'creatures' do their best to keep their existence a secret from humans but don't always seem to succeed.
If the novel has a fault, it's a bit heavy on the exposition, sometimes at the expense of moving the plot onward. Occasionally, significant events are kind of rushed through, with minimal detail, which when it's an audiobook means if your attention wanders, you can miss important information. Also, the narrator really should have learned how to pronouce the names of the Oxford colleges; the mispronunciation is really irritating but that's only in the first act.
I really enjoyed this novel and recommend it to any reader who is, like me, tired of the Twilight-clones. This has superficial similarities to Twilight, but it's a far superior work.
34 of 35 people found this review helpful
I really loved this book and cant wait for the authur to produce a sequel. It was pure fantasy and escapism. The narrator is also very good, it was most enjoyable and got me through hours of sewing in a world of my own.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful
I didn't think I was going to find another book(s) that engrossed me like the OUTLANDER series by Diana Gabeldon and Davina porter. ......but my goodness THIS series of books did it..and even perhaps more. Brilliant flow of imaginative writing that was captivating. Exciting tasteful romance that pulsed and pulsed and had me hooked, strong intriguing characters that were easily liked or disliked as the author wished and Imaginative narration that made listening to this series outstanding. Thank you.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
I’m sure there’d be loads of people who’d love this book, especially if they hadn’t read Twilight. It was a very similar story. If I had been reading it myself I wouldn’t have made it past the first couple of chapters. I stuck it out, but have no compulsion to find out what happens next. If I never hear Ashmole 782 again I won’t be sorry.
What a talented narrator. So many different accent.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful